Ravenna Koenig, Alaska's Energy Desk - Fairbanks
Survival course trainees are exposed to subzero temperatures and winds that gust up to 30-plus miles an hour. “They don’t go back inside after they come out here and begin the training,” said instructor Sgt. Garrett Wright.
“Everything just falls into place,” says Nancy Leavitt of the hard work involved in sinew thread making. “The problems, the stress, the thoughts you have. Most of them just disappear.”
Some people at the meeting expressed concern about the process. Lisa Baraff with the Northern Alaska Environmental Center said that the timeline BLM has been using for their environmental review is too short.
“Life is going to spring back to us,” said Robin Mongoyak. “Spring is coming, summer is around the corner. Birds when they come in big flocks, it’s like thousands of people coming to greet us.”
After struggling for years to clean up its air, Fairbanks still faces contentious wood smoke problem
For years, Fairbanks and neighboring city North Pole have had some of the worst air quality in the United States. The area has been failing to meet a federal air quality standard since 2009 — now it's reached the deadline.
Along with the reclamation plan approval, the state also increased the amount of money Donlin Gold will be required to put down ahead of time for the mine’s cleanup.
Polar bear researcher Eric Regehr says that in individual cases like this, it’s very difficult to attribute cause to why a bear wandered so far from its typical area.
Over the last 80-some years, there’s been a noticeable change in Fairbanks: The more recent cold snaps haven’t been as cold, and they’re occurring less frequently than they used to.
Last month Japan announced that it is leaving the international group that regulates whaling and will resume commercial whaling in its own coastal waters.
At the Cold Climate Housing Research Center in Fairbanks, there’s an experiment underway to try to find a cheaper way to make that kind of retrofit while still keeping risk of mold low.
The document looks at seven big categories — the Arctic’s so-called “vital signs.” Those include things like snow cover, the condition of the Greenland ice sheet, and sea ice conditions.
This year, the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission and the U.S. government put forward a new proposal that would change how the International Whaling Commission renews its quota. It passed.
Scientists have spent the past few decades catching up to traditional knowledge, documenting scientifically what whale hunters already knew. Like the fact that the whales can smell, and that they can travel under sea ice.
“Unless the underlying problem of climate change is addressed, the sea ice is expected to continue to diminish,” said polar bear researcher Eric Regehr. “And at some point that will likely have a negative effect on the bears in this Chukchi area.”
Billy Adams, a hunter in his 50s, says that when he was growing up in Utqiagvik, there was almost always ice attached to the shore by now. Listen now
Whaling Captain Crawford Patkotak says many in the community are still mourning the loss of two whalers in an accident this season, but the overarching dedication to continuing the tradition of whaling remains strong. Listen now
As the Arctic warms, Hilcorp is already having to tweak its proposal to accommodate climate change. And future companies looking to drill offshore in the Arctic may have additional changes to plan for. Listen now
“This is no longer a scientific issue, it’s not a scientific question. It’s a moral and spiritual issue,” said Tom Baring of Fairbanks, the father of one of the plaintiffs. Listen now
North Slope Borough Mayor Harry K. Brower Jr. said that the Borough is not releasing details about the incident until all the facts are gathered and all family members have been notified. Listen now
Even after decades of talk about getting affordable natural gas to the Interior, Fairbanks as of yet has only a limited supply of natural gas. And unlike many other places in the country, it’s not price-competitive with coal. Listen now